NewseumED curriculum developers recently piloted their newest media literacy class, “Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers,” at a high school in Palo Alto, California.
The class was launched at the Newseum in March in response to the false news stories that were widely shared on social media during the 2016 presidential election.
Students of Esther Wojcicki, a journalism teacher at Palo Alto, provided input to NewseumED staff as they developed the class and a flow chart helping students determine whether a story is worth sharing by text, tweet or email.
The Newseum’s education department has been teaching media literacy for more than 20 years. The free class and flow chart are part of a yearlong rollout of critical thinking tools to help students analyze information as part of overall media literacy.
In NewseumED’s “Fighting Fake News” class, students dive into the complexity of digital citizenship, including their active role in the flow of information. They examine case studies that highlight the challenges of today’s media landscape, and leave the class with strategies for being savvy news consumers.
Students also explore what “fake news” means, why they should care about it, and how to consider motivations behind stories.
A virtual version of this class will be available starting this fall.